BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The New Mexico State Fair, slated to run from Sept. 10-20, has been canceled, general manager Dan Mourning announced this morning.
Mourning said like so many others in the fair industry, the COVID-19 crisis has made it difficult for the New Mexico State Fair to continue with normal operations.
“While we are heartbroken that there will be no state fair this year, we remain committed to putting the safety and well-being of our staff, vendors and our community above all else,” he said.
Mourning noted that like everything during the last few months, the decision was complex.
“The state fair is a dynamic event. It’s much more than concerts and corn dogs for our guests. It’s built on a vast network of vendors, competitors, sponsors, rodeo athletes, stock contractors, entertainers, amusement operators and hundreds of staffers who bring their wholehearted commitment to make our fair one of the very best in the nation,” he said.
Mourning said the last few months have been challenging for young 4-H competitors who have been wondering how they will be able to compete in a livestock show so they can go to sale and raise money for college. He said some commercial exhibitors are past their deadlines for getting products and there are growing concerns of adequate food supplies for vendors as well as finding people able to work large crowds.
“This will have a large impact on small businesses and the thousands of people who bring their diverse talents to New Mexico and bring our fair life,” he said.
Mourning noted that it’s hard to say what the world will look like in September but that decision must be based on what is known today.
“Today state and local health officials are recommending that we keep our distance and avoid large groups for the foreseeable future,” he said.
Los Alamos County Cooperative Extension Program Director Carlos Valdez told the Los Alamos Reporter Friday afternoon that a decision on whether or not the Los Alamos County Fair will be held this year, is expected July 1.